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Beyond science journalism — the web and new forms of communication power

Today’s good news from the science communication world is that the editors of the Journal of Science Communication are inviting papers for a special issue on the future of science journalism, knowledge and power.

As the editors point out, the consequence of the internet is that today “science journalism finds itself in the middle of a deep cultural, economic and political change in which technological evolution has a prominent role”. Traditional journalism is threatened and the social and professional roles of communicators need to be re-defined “in order to avoid a loss of the journalism’s democratic, social and cultural function”.

The aim of the planned special issue is to investigate how knowledge and power are being re-distributed among different communication actors, for example, how participatory practices of the Web 2.0 are changing science communication and how these practices are “re-orienting social, cultural, political and economic powers”. More here.

This is an exciting initiative, which means that the Journal of Science Communication is eventually bringing the social web into focus. They are also to be applauded for bringing issues of knowledge and power into the discussion.

My only caveat at the moment is the editors’ peculiar use of the metaphor “new ecosystem of information”. What does the notion of ‘ecosystem’, borrowed from systems ecology, actually add to the analysis of the new consequences of the internet and the new communication order, compared to the plethora of other macrosocial concepts on the concept market?  

That said, if someone is interested, you should submit an extended abstract of 1000 words to jcom-eo@jcom.sissa.it by 31 March 2011.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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